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Barefoot, Herbert John Leslie

Date of birth:
May 15th, 1887 (Dulwich, Great Britain)
Date of death:
December 23rd, 1958 (Ipswich, Suffolk, Great Britain)
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
Acting Captain
Bomb Disposal, Royal Engineers, Home Guard, British Army
Awarded on:
January 22nd, 1941
"This officer dealt with and defused some of the first unexploded bombs in this country. In these early pioneer stages new types of bombs were constantly being found. Captain Barefoot was, therefore, responsible for the discovery of much new and valuable information. On July 28 he assisted Dr Merriman of London in experimenting on and afterwards defusing three unexploded bombs of a new shape at Great Yarmouth. By then Captain Barefoot had defused thirty or more such bombs of varying types and shapes. On the night of September 1 Captain Barefoot received information about unexploded bombs blocking the LNER main line. There were six live bombs in one place. This was a time when delayed-action time fuse bombs were much in use. In view of the importance of clearing the line at all costs, Captain Barefoot and his men deliberately ignored the safety period of four days then laid down. By 7am work was begun and continued without cessation in relays throughout the day. Captain Barefoot assisted personally in this remarkably expeditious operation, and by the evening the line had been cleared and at 6.40pm the first train was running. Normally this work would have taken a week to perform. Captain Barefoot worked on one of the first parachute magnetic mines dropped in this country. At the time we had very little knowledge of the mechanism of these mines, and much was learnt in these initial stages."
Barefoot's awards are on display at the Imperial War Museum in London, Great Britain.
George Cross
Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Medal 1953